MEMBERS of animal charity Triple A have been charged with trafficking, cruelty and fraud, it has been revealed.
Four people arrested at the Marbella shelter are also accused of misappropriation of funds, acting outside their professional capacity and even being members of a criminal gang.
The Guardia Civil announced that the investigation, launched in November last year, had so far probed 17 staff, some who were not legal.
“Various members of the committee were getting salaries when they were meant to be working voluntarily,” announced a spokesman. They were also getting dinners, lunches and clothes paid for.
Operation Tribet also discovered that funds were wrongly diverted to individuals and, most damningly, various animals were put down with no anaesthetic and in some cases using the wrong dosage, causing further suffering.
On top of this, Marbella’s Court Number 3 is investigating how money that was raised from the sale of ‘valuable’ pedigree dogs, many to Finland and Germany, did not come back to support the charity in Spain.
Triple A representative Lily Van Tongeren said the nature of the charges are pure hearsay and that the charity is still going strong.
She insisted that all the money raised goes back into the charity and only goes to individuals if they have wages.
“I don’t think the city hall would support us financially if we were cooking the books or not operating legally,” she added. “We are operating as normal and taking care of these animals.”